Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Post 81 Tanuki #3

With my two little taunki doing well and looking good I have been inspired to step up the scale a little. The picture of bleached white timber, red brown live vein and verdant green foliage in the juniper driftwood style is a very attractive one. But these trees are slow growers and take years to get to any size let alone make enought timber to expose some of it. Finding a redundant stump to carve into shape is problematic. Hence my ceramic tanuki - which will outlive any tree, daed or alive!

I've been cruising the net looking for exhibition shots and there are some great examples.

It always starts with a sketch. This is the sketch for my latest model.

Its always easy to put pencil to paper - the trick is to convincingly turn it into 3D.

So here is the still wet finished result - from the front. Its height is about 380mm and the channel for the tree is about 450mm in length.

From the RHS. The structure of old branches on this side of the tanuki is the 'oldest' part of the tree. As this part 'died back' the new 'S' shaped tree emerged to be the final support for the live vein. The old part has the appearance of being appended to and absorbed by the new.

This is a detailed shot of that RHS showing the avanced weathering it has suffered.

From the back you can see that I deviated from the sketch by keeping the same helical slope for the tree channel; it will be hard enough as it is to bend a tree into shape to fit. I've also made the channel taper from bottom to top too.

And this from the LHS. Now all I have to do is find a nice straight, flexible, single trunk shimpaku about 350 to 450 long.


  1. This is a really interesting idea. I would be worried about the tree breaking the ceramic as it grows, is that a concern or do you think the ceramic will withstand? Just curious. Look forward to seeing this after a couple years of development.

  2. The ceramic material once fired is extraordinarily strong and under the compression the tree would apply, virtually unbreakable. It might be a different matter if the trunk or a root was passed through a V shape for example which it pushed apart, but for the design of this tanuki that will not apply.

  3. Thanks for sharing, me being a new potter no one wants to tell me anything I have to go on youtube to learn techniques can you telll me a little bit about feet for this technique how firm or dry is the clay before you aply
    Thanks again, Reggie Tougas


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